Category: Real Estate

“Nowadays, to dedicate 15-25% of a building to coworking pushes the value of the building up”

Last week we talked to Adam Lis, in charge of flexible office solutions at JLL Poland. Adam is a real estate professional, with experience in coworking after having worked for Brain Embassy, a Polish coworking brand. We are happy to share below some of his thoughts, ideas and expertise and we also look forward to welcoming him in our Coworking Europe Conference as one of our 2019 speakers, in Warsaw.

Adam Lis

Hi Adam, what is your take on the relationship between Coworking and the real estate it is located in?

As has been pointed out in other articles, there is a big discussion on how coworking spaces – as tenants – influence yields on office properties. In our experience, landlords have started to see value in having a part of the building occupied by a coworking space and are oftentimes proactively looking to bring them on board. There are many theories on how big the influence is, but the market practice shows that having around 15-25% of an asset dedicated to flex operator has a positive impact on the value of the building, as it represents a desired amenity for other tenants.

Some new deals for corporate clients are already built on the paradigm of mixing traditional long-term lease agreements with flexible space arrangements to complement them. We at JLL have already started to tailor such hybrid solutions for corporate clients, mixing traditional offices with coworking capacity.

What is your experience of the evolution of flexible workspace in Poland?

As in the rest of Europe, the rise of flexible office spaces is the hottest trend on the market in Poland. The volume of operating and secured flexible spaces in major cities reached 250,000 sq m in the end of 2018. Naturally, as the capital and the most important business destination in the country, Warsaw accounts for over ¾ of this volume, but the overall trend is also becoming more and more influential in regional cities.

Like it has happened in other markets, the entrance of WeWork in the end of last year has acted as a catalyst for the flex segment, kickstarting its development and forcing the competition to expand faster. Flex operators have leased an astonishing 112,000 m² in Warsaw last year, which accounts for 13% of the total office space demand. Interestingly, over half of it came from just two players: WeWork and IWG (Regus & Spaces).

Have revenue share deals already arrived in Poland?

Revenue share deals between flexible office providers and landlords are still scarce in Poland. It’s mainly due to the risk aversion of the latter, as well as their strong position, given the vacancy rate in Warsaw’s Central zones now stands at ca. 5%, which is the lowest since 2009. This means that availability of lease options in existing developments here is extremely limited. Therefore landlords don’t see the need to try out new business models. Management agreements seem, however, to work better at less attractive locations and buildings, where landlords are pushed to be more innovative in order to lease their assets.

Where do you see the market moving? Can small boutique spaces survive against international chains?

Image Sourse: Hotel Schani Wien – coworking lobby

The whole office market is rapidly changing as big players expand and grow the market, especially by attracting corporate clients. Smaller ones on the other hand emerge and push from the bottom. We see some landlords and developers experimenting with their own coworking concepts. Hotels and shopping malls are trying to find their place in this new segment too. I believe that the market will become more and more competitive, but also that there will be enough space for a variety of highly specialized niche providers. It seems like the market is heading towards a world where coworking is becoming the new workplace.

I believe that the market will become more and more competitive, but also that there will be enough space for a variety of highly specialized niche providers.

 

 

Softbank backed OYO buys Innov8 for $31 Mio: “We will deliver great quality experience to real estate customers as well”

Innv8 is among the first coworking brand launched in India. Last month, the company was bought by one of the biggest Indian hotel platform, OYO, for a total of 31 millions US$. Meanwhile, OYO announced the takeover of two other coworking brands (PowerStation, for corporations, and Workflow, more focused on startups), demonstrating a strong will to develop its position in the coworking field. Interesting to note, OYO is supported by Softbank, one of WeWork’s main investors. Innov8 is the fourth coworking acquisition by OYO. We interviewed Ritesh Malik, Innov8‘s founder, about the vision behind the deal.

Hi Ritesh. Can you tell us the story behind Innov8?

We launched our first centre at the Heart of New Delhi- Connaught in December 2015. We wanted to revolutionise how Indian work. Innov8 is not just a place for people to work, it’s a place for people to connect. We at Innov8 want to transform real estate into a beautiful and premium workspace designed to encourage community engagement for the creators and innovators. In June 2016, US-based fund Y-Combinator backed Innov8 for its investment in the coworking industry.

We were hoping to create a collaborative community where business opportunities and activities can take place freely. We were committed to delivering excellence through design, experience, and services. Our Vision was to revolutionize real estate into beautifully designed, experience centers to empower the process and journey of creating meaningful work. Our Mission: to be World’s Most Loved Workspace brand through excellence in design, experience and delivering value.

Innov8 is now taken over by OYO. Why are the two companies complementary?

Ritesh Malik, Innov8

Innov8 and OYO are both in the business of real estate and hospitality. It’s a perfectly complementary business. OYO already has a strong play in the real estate market worldwide both as a tenant and as a supplier, with existing offerings like OYO Home, OYO LIFE, Weddigz.in and MICE offerings. Also, OYO already has thousands of corporate customers that help generate over 30% of OYO’s business. Additionally, in India, OYO works with over 8.000 asset owners, and many of them have ready space available for commercial business. The decision to, therefore, open managed workspaces is a natural transition and step forward. With vast experience of acquiring properties, creating processes and great user experiences, it will be great backing on Innov8 scalability.

 

With vast experience of acquiring properties, creating processes and great user experiences, it will be great backing on Innov8 scalability.

OYO is known in India as a hotel booking platform. Coworking seems quite far away from their focus, no? 

Firstly, OYO is not a hotel booking platform. OYO is a full-scale tech-driven hospitality company that operates over 18.000 franchised and leased hotels across 10 countries and 500+ cities globally. Interestingly, the company has globally leased or franchised over 200 million square feet of real estate, and have emerged as a preferred tenant of choice. Thousands of real estate owners around the world work with OYO and respect the company’s ability to upgrade all forms of real estate and deliver good quality experiences. OYO is also amongst the most preferred lesses and franchisors of real estate yields worldwide.

Over the last six years, OYO has invested heavily in building key competencies, where our operational expertise in supply acquisition and management, renovation, operations, revenue management, and distribution, through both offline and online channels, that has helped the company gain significant momentum, and emerge as the most preferred brand in the budget to mid-segment hospitality space in several markets like India and China.

We are certain that OYO’s existing competencies and international reach, will help us seamlessly deliver great quality experiences to our real estate customers as well. We are all therefore excited about our plans to create and deliver chic workspaces that will be designed to provide a hassle-free, comfortable and productive experience to coworkers, and cost-effective workspace solutions to corporates.

According to you, what does the transaction say about the office and workplace industry moving to a hospitality and services model?

The managed office space industry is inherently a unique combination of hospitality led real estate experience. With this transaction, it is a huge validation for Innov8 and the whole industry. The industry is extremely positive with the potential of office spaces market.

How would you define hospitality in the workplace world?

More than desks, chairs, coffee and office infrastructure, workspaces should provide the environment and support to make every company and coworkers grow and do their best work. Our community and value-added services make Innov8 a second home; creating an ethos of happiness at the workplace.

Would you say the Indian market is specific for this kind of approach?

Indian market is ripe for managed office spaces. India is one of the most penetrated markets by managed offices.

Startups are driving the coworking demand in India. Do you see or expect coworking to become a solution for SME and bigger corporations? Is it already happening? What’s Innov8 experience on those regards?

It is already happening. SME and bigger corporates now accepting the trend and it is beneficial for both the industry. Managed offices are the way to go for any workspace needs. At Innov8, we have already been focussing on and catering to ME and corporation. Majority of our clients are SME or corporates.

What are the specific challenges Indian coworking players have to face, nowadays, to keep up with the pace of growth?

Identify prime properties, capital, and speed of scale.

Lately, we are reading that big international players such as Airbnb are also looking towards the coworking business. Do you think this can work? Why?

The coworking or managed office market is huge with rooms for different price points and variation of the product/ service.

Do OYO and Innov8 have plans to grow beyond India?

We plan to expand and cater to the huge Indian market first.

In general, Indian coworking brands are not very active outside India, yet. Do you expect it to change? 

Yes, most definitely. There is a lot of potential. Having said that, we are currently focused on strengthening our business in India. Once we have nailed it, then the sky’s the limit.

“For property owners and flexible workspace operators, the shared revenue model will be one model among many”

GKRE, a UK based flexible workspace specialist, could be a kind of new operator in the market: a matchmaker between real estate owners, on the one hand, coworking and flexible workplace operators, on the other hand. GKRE advises landlords and building owners throughout the UK on their flexible workspace options and opportunities to partner with flexible workspace providers. The company has recently been involved in the merger and acquisition of businesses worth over GBP 40 million, in some 50 buildings.

Will Kinnear

We interviewed Will Kinnear, Chartered Surveyor specialising in the flexible workspace industry.

Hi Will, could you introduce yourself and tell us about GKRE?

I started as a consultant to Regus acquiring multiple sites throughout the UK on their behalf. Since the creation of GKRE with Douglas Green in 2013, we have acquired more than 450.000 square feet (42.000 m2) of new sites for the UK’s leading operators throughout London and the UK. Clients include operators and landlords across the UK, from major PLCs to independent companies.

The flexible workspace market has grown fast in the last recent years. What are the reasons for this growth, according to you?

The growth of the market has been driven by a number of factors: the demand from occupiers for more flexible ways of working; technology in the form of laptops and mobile phones allowing people to work from anywhere; the explosion of small businesses and freelancers. Traditionally, flexible workspace operators were quick to seize on the demand for flexibility and, by offering something alternative to the traditional leasing model, grew their portfolio of sites steadily on the back of this. In the past three to four years, flexible ways of working have become commonplace for SMEs and even corporates, who have looked to operators to provide them with workspaces that meet their growing demand for dynamic and flexible ways of working. This, in turn, has driven operators and property owners to expand their offerings exponentially to the extent that the flexible workspace sector is no longer a secondary sector in the property market.

 In the past three to four years, flexible ways of working have become commonplace for SMEs and even corporates.

How do property owners look at the flexible model of space renting? Do they come to you? If so, why?

Property owners have had to look at the product being offered by operators given that demand for flexible working from occupiers has continued to grow. We are actively being approached by landlords and developers who want to understand better how the model works and how they can make the most of this growing trend. This is challenging the way property owners look at what they offer tenants.

Would you say that commercial property owners are starting to consider to partner up with flexible workspace operators, the same way property owners deal with hotel chains?

Yes, they are. Historically, flexible workspace operators have been at the forefront of this growing sector. However, over the past two years, there has been a distinct increase in property owners and developers wanting to enter the sector. Flexible workspace operators traditionally have taken lease deals where they have control over the space within a building and their clients. Partnership and management agreements between property owners and operators have allowed property owners to share in the upside and desirability of the sector while leaving the operator to the day-to-day running of the centre. We are currently working with a number of property owners who are considering their options. These may include working with an operator on a partnership basis or running their own operation.

Partnership and management agreements between property owners and operators have allowed property owners to share in the upside and desirability of the sector while leaving the operator to the day-to-day running of the centre.

Is the shared revenue model the future, in this kind of partnership?

It may be in some circumstances. Some property owners have assets within a portfolio that simply aren’t set up to enter into a shared revenue model. They will, therefore, have to let space on a traditional basis to an operator so that they are able to fulfil any requirement they have to provide flexible workspace within their mix of properties. They can also, of course, choose to run their own operation under their own brand. The shared revenue model will be attractive to both property owners and operators in some locations where both parties see a mutual benefit to providing a flexible workspace product. Going forward, we see opportunities for all kinds of models including leasehold, freehold and partnerships arrangements. We expect plenty of variety throughout the UK, and the model chosen will be driven to a large extent by the location, the property owner’s view of the market and the operator’s desire for a foothold in a particular area.

The model chosen will be driven to a large extent by the location, the property owner’s view of the market and the operator’s desire for a foothold in a particular area.

Some real estate owners fear that partnering with flexible workspace operators means they will lose direct contact with their traditional tenant customers. On the longer term, it could be detrimental to them, as they will be reliant on the flexible operator. Are they right?

This is a genuine concern for some owners as the end user will usually only have day-to-day contact and dialogue with the operator. To get round this and retain control of and connection with the end user, several property owners are looking to run their own operations, or, partner with operators but run the centres under their own brand.

Would you recommend property owners to create their own flexible workspace customer brand?

Possibly, but in every case, we would look at a property owner’s requirements in order to give them the best possible advice. Depending on what product they want to provide, the levels of service make these operations highly management intensive and for this reason not every property owner has the setup or desire to do it themselves. In these instances, we will work with a property owner to ascertain what options are available to them access the flexible workspace market.

Business Centres, Coworking, startup-friendly environment… How do you deal with the different services and positioning in today’s market?

Every operator thinks of their business in a different way and will position their product in the way that they best think sells it to potential occupiers. Often, an operator will offer a blend of options within a centre in order to maximise revenue.

What are your real estate predictions for the flexible workspace market in the UK the next five years?

We believe the market will continue its excellent growth. We expect to see more property owner-based operations in the market along with more all-inclusive managed products as landlords offer further flexibility in order to meet what occupiers are looking for. The new accounting rules coming into force in January next year are already impacting on demand as companies seek to take long-term leasehold premises off their balance sheets. We also expect to see retail and corporate occupiers offering flexible space. Industry data suggests that flexible workspace could account for 10% of the occupier market within 10 years across the UK.

Industry data suggests that flexible workspace could account for 10% of the occupier market within 10 years across the UK.

 

 

 

 

The design of our space is research backed to promote varied types of interactions-Ben Gattie,The Working Capitol

Ben Gattie, the co-founder, and CEO at The Working Capitol wanted to nurture creative work environments in his home country of Singapore. After working for a real estate developer focused on SoHo loft conversions in New York City, Ben returned to Singapore about 8 years ago and set up The Bamboo Group, a boutique real estate company specializing in the redevelopment of neighborhood shop houses. Deciding to enter a more meaningful and multifaceted industry centered around creating inspired work environments for companies big and small, Gattie co-founded The Working Capitol with his sister, Saranta.

Today the professional landscape in Singapore is changing, and it’s all thanks to places like The Working Capitol. We caught up with Ben to discuss these changes and how his work is enabling more open and flexible work environments.

Hi, Ben. What is work culture like in Singapore? Have people embraced social workspaces? 

It was quite conventional in a lot of ways until a few years ago with the mainstream emphasizing job security and working out of the central business district. Singapore has made a conscious effort to decentralize, and independent operators such as ourselves have legitimized fringe locations and social workspaces. Thankfully, Singapore is accustomed to change at an aggressive pace and is very adaptable to new things. Singapore apparently has over 60+ co-working spaces so I certainly hope this means people have embraced social workspaces! That said, in our earlier days, it was essential to educate people about what we were doing and to adopt a genuine spirit of giving before we could expect to get in return.

Does TWC aim to promote shared work culture and if so, how?

Ben Gatti

Definitely. We try to promote shared work culture across as many touch points as possible. The design of our space is research backed to promote varied types of interactions, ensuring there are different environments suited for different types of work or social engagement.

We want all our members to feel a sense of ownership of the entire building regardless if they may have signed up for a dedicated workspace. Our events and programming ensure that people come together across different points of interest, which we populate according to the verticals of arts and culture, personal and business development, health and wellness and lifestyle and entertainment.

Furthermore, our team is genuinely interested in what our members do and aims to facilitate interactions and connections whenever possible.

When TWC was being developed, was special attention paid to design? 

Yes. Design with intention is key  i.e understanding why the spaces exist and for what purpose it serves. Design is always best when it puts the member experience first and naturally weaves these human experiences into the built environment.

In your experience, what type of design promotes a better work culture, while also increasing productivity?

Specifically, in the case of The Working Capitol, the flow of one space into another, the incorporation of natural light, a lively color palette and ensuring there are different types of micro-environments suited for different types of work made accessible to everyone have been major contributors to our unique energy.

Do you believe that the physical design of a shared workspace is an essential part of the model? 

It is an essential part of the model. It directly influences not only how well we can perform operationally, but how successful we can be at creating the right energy and interactions. If the hardware is poorly designed, it makes it that much more challenging for our team and all their efforts to bring the space to life successfully, ensuring people are inspired to do their best work.

What types of members do you attract? For example are you focused on the local community or do does TWC extend themselves to digital nomads? 

Our members truly span a broad cross section. Being fortunate enough to have an international upbringing and exposure to different cultures, it was extremely important for us to champion diversity in terms of the type of industries we cater to, as well as different stages of development. We welcome everyone from solo-preneurs to large companies. That diversity can only help to provide different perspectives and learnings to local businesses in Singapore and enable people to grow in both business and personally.

On that same note, do you have corporate members or business partners? If so, why do you think that they are drawn to a place like TWC?

Our corporate members tell us the main draw has been to attract and retain the best talent. They want to provide their teams with access to inspiring spaces, access to amenities and opportunities to engage with other members and companies.

CHECK OUT SOCIALWORKPLACES.COM UPCOMING EVENTS

“Many people who came to work at Starbucks discovered that the coworking environment was a much better solution”-Ashley Proctor

Ashley Proctor runs both Creative Blueprint and Foundery in the vibrant city of Toronto, Canada. The newly renovated 15,000 sq ft community hub is an accessible venue run by Ashley and her business partner, Jake Koseleci, who also owns the property and leases space to Creative Blueprint and Foundery, in addition to a Starbucks.

Established in 2006, Creative Blueprint is a pioneer and leader in Toronto’s arts and coworking communities. Creative Blueprint provides studios, services and support for artists and entrepreneurs. The CB Studios in downtown Toronto are home to practicing visual artists, designers, makers and creative entrepreneurs.

We caught up with Ashley to talk about what it was like to partner with Starbucks and how coffee culture can help coworking spaces grow.

Hi, Ashley. Can you please tell us a bit about the current state of Foundery and Creative Blueprint?

Established in 2010, Foundery currently operates two Coworking and Event Spaces within The Foundery Buildings. Foundery is one of Toronto’s first coworking spaces and we are home to a diverse and vibrant community of passionate, independent freelancers and artists. Foundery provides 2 unique shared coworking environments in addition to private offices and meeting rooms.

In the new year, we are planning to launch an exchange program with our newest Creative Blueprint location in Seattle, Washington (in partnership with Office Nomads).

Why did you decide to partner with Starbucks rather than opening your own coffee shop? 

My original plans for a coworking space included art studios, as well as an art gallery and cafe. The businesses are all complimentary and they support each other. The Foundery Buildings were the first venue where we could open all of these elements under one roof. Yet, we had an entire building to renovate and a mortgage to cover, so we decided that it would be a good idea to partner with an established anchor tenant that we didn’t feel bad about charging market rental rates.

Ashley Proctor

Ashley Proctor

At the time when we bought the building, there was construction on the street and we needed to increase foot traffic. Also, coworking was not as popular as it is today and many people were still unfamiliar with the concept. Thus, the cafe gave people a reason to come by and check out the newly renovated building.

Do you feel that this partnership brought Foundery more opportunity?

Yes. Overall, it’s really events, coffee and casual opportunities that make connections and what helped to introduce the community to our space and to the coworking movement.

It has been a great way to find and to introduce people who need a community to the coworking concept. The partnership also offers a secure stream of patrons for the cafe and a secure revenue stream for the building. It also works out well when we need breakfast or coffee for our in-house workshops and events!

What are some of the specific benefits of having a partnership with Starbucks and what does it bring to the tenants and to the space owners?

Our members love coffee. We drink coffee all day and we also like snacks. Since we have our own desks next door, we don’t take up precious real-estate in Starbucks.

As a coworking space operator, I also visit the cafe to tell those people who are working on laptops that there is a better option that’s right next door. I’ve actually invited many cafe customers in for a trial day at Foundery and that worked out well both for Starbucks and for us.

Does having a partnership outside of the space provide the ability to impact the greater community on the whole as you have a wider reach?

Our reach was initially wider with Starbucks as a tenant, but now we have since established our location and our own community. Today, our events and members attract new visitors, like the CB Gallery, which is open to the public during exhibitions and we also participate in many city-wide initiatives that open our doors to the community.

Have you found that there could be a potential risk that your members would want to work in Starbucks, rather than your space?

Quite the opposite. Many people who came to work at the cafe discovered Foundery and decided that the coworking environment was a much better solution. Don’t get me wrong, I really enjoy going out for coffee, but I’d rather work from the Foundery rooftop patio or in my studio with friends. I’m so much more efficient and productive in a coworking space than I could be in any cafe.

What would convince you to have your own cafe? 

Now that we have established the model at this location, we’d like to see another service provider operating in the space. We are actually in the process of replacing the Starbucks with an independent operator that is more in line with our vision and mission for the space and community.

As we are a building full of independent artists and entrepreneurs, so it would be nice to see our peers using the space. Yet, we are taking our time in looking for the right cafe partner or collaborator who can provide amazing coffee, healthy food options and catering options for our members and many events.

“Romania has the highest GDP growth in Europe and coworking has a lot of potential here”- Dragos Roua, ConnectHub (Romania)

In 2012, Dragos Roua launched an event called Open Connect. Using Starbucks as a platform, Dragos transformed the coffee shop into an environment that nurtured connection, where individuals could communicate and give feedback to one another. According to Dragos, this type of environment was missing in Romania, and this was an attempt to change the scene.

Yet, even though the coworking structure was pretty much non-existent at the time, a lot of people showed up, leading to 4 more years of meet ups and eventually in 2014, Connect Hub was born. We caught up with Dragos to learn more about Romania’s coworking growth.

Hi, Dragos. Please tell us a bit more about the story of the initial meet up leading to the birth of Connect Hub.

When I launched the first event in 2012, I wanted to create an environment where people would easily give feedback to each other, something which was lacking at that time in the online scene and, to some extent, still is. To my surprise, a bunch of people showed up, and over the last 4 years, a community of more than 5000 people grew around the event.

In addition to a community, a lot of business started to happen between them, from partnerships, clients exchange, service exchange. It was a vibrant community and in 2014 2 angel investors helped us to make Connect Hub a reality. Today, the coworking space has grown beyond the initial community, although we still have Open Connects each Thursday.

What are some of your other projects you are working on connected to the space?

I have written a book, titled: “Being A Digital Nomad“, which tells the story of Open Connect.

How familiar are people with coworking spaces in Romania? 

Connect Hub was actually the third coworking space in Bucharest to open and since 2014 at least 10 more have opened.

Did people embrace the concept ? Or were there some challenges in the beginning? 

I would say the concept was very well received. The first hub was opened in 2009, but it wasn’t until 2012 that things really picked up, so it took some time.

Dragos Roua, Connect Hub

Dragos Roua, Connect Hub

What kind of community do you foster?

We are a generalist hub. Everybody who has a business can come to work and enjoy the community. We have e-commerce consultants, public speaking coaches, raw vegan fast food owners, programmers, web designers, marketers, professional photographers.

Would you say that Connect Hub played a role in changing people’s opinions about coworking in the region?

Coworking was already a reality when Connect Hub launched. Our presence may have been accelerated the adoption of the phenomenon and also contributed to the launch of other, more specialized, hubs.

Are there more spaces popping up and do you yourself collaborate with them? 

Yes, we have many hubs opening. Although because of the hype, the concept was somehow diluted. For example, if you have some office space to rent, then it is understood as being cool to name yourself a “hub”. But, sometimes we do collaborate with other coworking spaces.

If so, what are some of your projects that involve connecting the Romanian community with the greater European one?

There is a Romanian Association of Coworking Spaces in the works right now, and Connect Hub is one of the co-founders of that association. Things are moving a bit slow at the moment, but eventually, we’ll get there.

Are there any specific struggles in Romania, economically and socially that coworking can help to alleviate? Can you give some examples, if so? 

As a matter of fact, Romania had the highest GDP growth in Europe, which was at 5% in 2016 and it’s expected to keep that position in 2017 as well, with a 3.2% growth.

But, coworking is still in its nascent stages, so there is a lot of room to grow. There is potential for many wonderful things to happen, and the most important among them may be the apparition of the first real incubation / acceleration programs centered around the reality of Romanian economy and culture.

Is there an increasing freelance population in Romania? If so, why do you think that is and do you think it is positive?

Yes, freelancing is becoming quite popular. While I salute the trend, I don’t see it necessarily as a good thing, because I am more interested in the next level of freelancing, which is entrepreneurship. We’re still experiencing a lot of short-comings in this area, as freelancing is not very conducive to economic growth in the long term in the way that entrepreneurship can be.

Currently, the mindset is still frozen, and that is something that has to change in the coming years.

Has coworking in Romania helped other business sectors improve/become more innovative, such as real estate?

Not necessarily real estate, but for consultants, it has been an interesting and innovative way to expand their business.

 

“We propose the off peak environment of beautiful restaurants for coworking”-Preston Pesek, Spacious NYC

Finding a place to work in a major metropolis like New York City can be a challenge and an expensive one at that. At first glance, options may seem limited, but if you look a little closer, maybe the perfect place to work was there all along. Preston Pesek, co-founder of Spacious Coworking, saw past property challenges and found that there was actually plenty of space, depending on how you look at it.

Setting up coworking spaces the City’s restaurants during the day, Spacious takes a novel approach to how we get the most out of urban landscapes. Realizing that many of these top eateries are pretty much empty until 5PM, until the after work rush, Spacious aims to combine business and pleasure.

Hi, Preston. What inspired you to start Spacious?

I have a background in commercial real estate. It was through this lens that I began to realize that beautifully furnished, street-level retail space, which often stays closed until 5:00pm or later, is actually some of the highest value property that has been programmed the least efficiently.

With the rise of an independent workforce, in the context of a technological culture where people can stay productive and connected from anywhere, the opportunity to tap into the potential of these under-used spaces quickly became obvious.

Does the coworking element offer any specific benefits to the restaurants, such as financial incentives?

Not only do we share our profits with our restaurant partners, but they also benefit from greater visibility through our digital marketing efforts. In addition to more exposure, the restaurants can also serve food and drinks to our members during the day as well if they want. In most cases, our partners are very excited about the opportunity to serve small plates during the day, and our members love it too.

How long do you occupy each restaurant? And, does the offer change after a certain time, or do you have a set network of restaurants ?

We open at 9:00am, and for anyone who lingers after the restaurant opens, can simply choose to stay and order from the menu, or from the bar. Most of our restaurant partners like to have a few early customers to jumpstart the evening.

When we add a new partner, we expect that it remains in the network through the remainder of the restaurant partner’s lease. The network grows over time, so we will be continually adding new locations, resulting in increasing network coverage in each city where we operate.

Coworking communities rely on their hosts to help members integrate and build community. Since your hosts aren’t with the coworkers for an extended period of time, is it harder for them to connect with members?

On the contrary, the hosts who greet and  help to check-in our members are dedicated Spacious employees, so they are there every day. They get to know our members quite well, and as they are with them throughout the day, they act as a friendly concierge and reception for both our members and their guests. All of our hosts know almost everyone by name, creating a friendly and hospitable experience.

Are these hosts already experienced coworkers or are they also new to the concept?

The Spacious hosts are a diverse mix of independent freelancers, theater and film actors, designers, etc. who understand the need for an affordable place to meet and work that also acts as a social space. Some of them are new to Spacious, of course (because we are new), but everyone already has previous knowledge and experience with coworking.

Who are your typical members? What are their professions? coworking in restaurants

We have a diverse membership. We have independent designers, makers, and developers, as well as members of small to startup teams. We even have employees coming from larger organizations who have a “work from anywhere” corporate policy, who enjoy the fact that Spacious offers an experience that is more hospitable than the typical office.

Do they work from home, or are they also experienced coworkers?

Many of our members have also worked out of other coworking communities before joining us. The value of what we can offer, because of our unique business model, matched with high-touch quality experience, is something that sets us apart from many others in the space. Not many other coworking spaces can say that they are connected to a Michelin star kitchen.

What are some of the things that professionals in NYC need but doesn’t have access to through the established coworking networks?

Objectively, we solve the problem of finding a reliable network of places to host face-to-face meetings. While we don’t offer a permanent workstation where you can leave your computer overnight, we do offer a network of places where you can meet with others in a space suitable for any client, colleague, or friend. At Spacious you can choose to stay quietly productive at a table of your own, or engage in collaborative conversations in a space that is designed for social interaction.

Of course, you can also choose to stay quietly productive at a table of your own, or engage in collaborative conversations as we create an atmosphere designed for social interaction.

NYC has a lot of coworking spaces already, what did it take for you to realize a concept that would stand out and ultimately thrive amongst the competition?

The business model we’ve designed allows us to offer something truly special that few others can. We also offer this at a price that is very hard to beat. The Spacious network will show you where the best spaces in any city are located, and these spaces are picked to be both beautiful by day, and also by night when they become top tier restaurant venues. Because we carefully curate our space partners, you can rely on Spacious to give you insight into “where to be” in any city. We hope to become an insider’s guide to the best spaces in cities all over the world.

How have people reacted to the Spacious concept so far? And, do you have any plans to start using other non-traditional spaces in the future?

Our members love it. It’s something very unique, but it also allows our members to feel that they are at home, and are proud to tell others about where they work. It’s a kind of “life hack” that is also an exciting movement.

As our membership grows, we’re going to want to offer 24/7 access to the Spacious network. This move will require that we find other spaces, and there are plenty of those to be found if you have the right kind of perspective. To us, every city looks very spacious!

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Coworking India Survey and Data 2016

As a global movement, Coworking has taken roots in India the last years.coworkin-co

A couple of hundreds of coworking spaces are now in operation in India.

Mentioning coworking space means we don’t take into account, here, basic shared spaces environments without services and (semi-)open access. Well workspaces associated with an identity and a community, mainly dedicated to digital workers of any kinds.

About one third took part in the Coworking India Survey 2016 produced by SocialWorkplaces.com prior to the Coworking India conference, on September 9-10th, 2016. Here are some key data disclosed during the event which gathered close to 120 coworking operators and pundits from the whole country.

Bigger on average in size, though still limited in number

So far, there is less coworking spaces in India than coworking spaces operating in the London area alone.size-space-cwindia

That said, though, on average, coworking spaces operating in India seemed wider in space than the average noticed in Europe, for instance. More than one third of the interviewed coworking spaces manage a facility more than 1.000 m2 wide.

Likewise, the average size of coworking tenants each coworking deals with seems to be wider than the average observed in Europe, although the number of operating coworking spaces is much higher over there.  According to the data, one third of the surveyed coworking spaces caters between 100 and 200 members at least.

cw-india-members

Acceleration and startup programs often provided

India wants to put itself as a startup nation.

No surprise that a big deal of the coworking spaces who replied to the survey are targeting startups and digital entrepreneurs. So, it is not amazing that more than 50% of the interviewed spaces described not only themselves as coworking spaces but also as Incubation/Acceleration program providers or sometimes TechHubs.

vineelContentwise, the community building activity is definitily as critical for the Indian coworking scene as it is elsewhere, show the data collected for the Survey. More than 2/3 of the Indian coworking spaces organize in house events at least once a week.

The Coworking industry in India seems for sure ready to take off confirmed attendees at the first Coworking India conference.

Download more facts & data from the Coworking India 2016 Survey providing your information here below.

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Recap of the Coworking India 2016 conference (Storify)

“In Real Estate, being able to deal with emotions and personal feelings is critical”-Katie Lance

An expert in marketing in branding for the last 15 years, Katie Lance currently explores the impact of social media can have when building a more transparent company culture. As a consultant, Katie helps companies utilize social media on a myriad of levels, from engaging with employees, to assisting clients and users.

We spoke with Katie about the potential impact “smart” social media can have on business today, and how it can carve out space for more human engagement in the workplace.

Your specialty is social media. How do you see the role of social media in workplace culture today?

It’s important for companies to understand that their social media presence isn’t just what is posted via their corporate social media directors. Employees have, in many ways, just a big of a voice and can be some of the biggest brand ambassadors.

How do you think that the real estate industry will utilize social media to improve the way that they interact with customers, etc.?

For many people, buying and selling a home is an intensely personal and emotional experience, and I can think of no better industry than real estate to use social media to celebrate those moments and connect with their clients on a personal level. The real estate industry has a unique opportunity to use social media to keep in touch with their clients, as well as an opportunity to share what it feels like to work with them and what their communities are all about.

Can you tell us a bit about these changes that you see taking place in the real estate industry from this experience?

I think we are getting a bit away from all of the “shiny objects” that overshadowed the industry a few years back. As technology gets better and better, I see opportunities that help agents to tell their story and build their brand. I particularly see opportunities with

I particularly see opportunities with live video like Facebook Live, Snapchat and Periscope, which allow agents to create content quickly and allow consumers to ask questions and interact in real time. I see this as a huge opportunity for agents to build trust and build their business.

What challenges are ahead for office providers, coworking space etc.?

I do see more companies letting their employees work remotely and offering more flexible work schedules. Ultimately it comes down to trust; trust in the employees that they know how they work best, whether it’s in an office, at a coffee shop or at a home office. I think many companies still fear not having an office space because they feel their culture will be affected.

Katie Lance social media

Katie Lance

I personally run a virtual company with a relatively small virtual team for nearly four years and I can tell you first-hand that you don’t need to be all in the same room to build culture. We create culture through our Skype calls, our Voxer voice messages, our iPhones, and the various other ways that we keep in touch and on task through technology tools.

How do you imagine the role of the office in the future? Will will be all being working remotely in due time?

The workplace has changed dramatically in the last few years in part because of technology and in part because how so many of us have previously worked has also changed. For many of us, we no longer need to be in the same building at the same time of day  to get a job done. I don’t think offices will ever disappear forever but I think we will only continue to see more and more people working remotely.